Tuesday, 7 June 2016

RESPONDING TO ECONOMIC CHALLENGES

Courtesy:-  Malik M Ashraf

WHILE it is hard to take an issue with the government claims that over the last three years the economy has been revived and all the economic indicators reflect positive trends and that despite failing to achieve the targets set for financial year 2015-16, the GDP growth stood at 4.71% which is the highest rate of growth in the last years, the negative growth in agriculture sector is quite worrisome. Pakistan is an agricultural country and agriculture is the mainstay of our economy. Equally bothersome is decline in the exports as compared with the previous year.
As revealed in the economic survey, agriculture recorded negative growth of 0.19% as compared to 2.53 % last year. This development is attributable to the fact that growth of crops declined by 6.25% though the sub-components like Livestock, forestry and fishing posted positive growth of 3.63%, 8.84% and 3.25% respectively. The major contributing factor to the overall dismal performance of the agriculture sector according to the Finance Minister was 28% losses in the cotton crop that reduced the GDP growth by 0.5%. The factors that led to this situation included higher inventories, declining commodity prices and unfavourable weather conditions. Agriculture provides employment for 45% of the labour force, 70% of the population depends on it and it contribute 21% to the GDP. And above all it ensures food security for the country. That adequately explains the importance of agriculture for our economy.